Shannon Lay, “Geist”

Geist by Shannon Lay

Geist feels like a window – or a mirror – into possibilities of the self and beyond. Shannon Lay’s new album is tender intensity, placeless and ethereal. It exists in the chasms of the present – a world populated by shadow selves, spiritual awakenings, déjà vu, and past lives.

“Something sleeps inside us,” Lay insists on the opening track, and that’s the guiding philosophy throughout. A winding, golden, delicate thread of intuition that explores the unknown, the possibility. Its title, Geist, the German word for spirit, is rife with an otherworldly presence, the suggestion of another. The promise that you are never alone.

Lay tracked vocals and guitar at Jarvis Tavinere of Woods’s studio, then sent the songs out to multi-instrumentalists Ben Boye (Bonnie Prince Billy, Ty Segall) in Los Angeles and Devin Hoff (Sharon Van Etten, Cibo Matto) in New York; trusting their musical instincts and intuition. She then sent those recordings to Sofia Arreguin (Wand) and Aaron Otheim (Heatwarmer, Mega Bog) for additional keys, while Ty Segall contributed a guitar solo on “Shores.”